Team of the Day: Portland State
23-9 (14-2 Big Sky)
Computer numbers (courtesy of kenpom.com, through Tuesday): RPI 96, SOS 245
Thanks to their 67-51 victory in the Big Sky Tournament final against Northern Arizona Wednesday night, the Vikings become the first entrant making their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Three players reached double figures in the win, led by senior guard Deonte Huff with seventeen. Portland State also forced twenty-two turnovers and held the Lumberjacks to 34.5% shooting from the field. NAU senior forward Kyle Landry, who for the season averaged 17.8 points per game, was harassed into a 3-11 night from the field for ten points. The best wins on the schedule for PSU may be back-to-back wins over IUPUI and Akron all the way back in mid-November, so they'll probably end up being a fifteen seed. But that's something to worry about for Sunday. Until then, enjoy the thrill of heading to your first NCAA Tournament.
On the clock: Dayton and Villanova. Both teams have chances to pick up huge "resume" wins when they take on the top seed in their respective conference tournaments on Thursday. Dayton, who already had their hands full with Xavier, can't be too happy with the Musketeers being peeved by the "disrespect" being sent their way in regards to conference honors. As for Villanova, they get another shot at Georgetown, and a win would bolster their case for being "robbed" in their previous meeting.